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Community mobilisation to prevent violence against women and girls in eastern India through participatory learning and action with women's groups facilitated by accredited social health activists: a before-and-after pilot study

Nair, N; Daruwalla, N; Osrin, D; Rath, S; Gagrai, S; Sahu, R; Pradhan, H; ... Prost, A; + view all (2020) Community mobilisation to prevent violence against women and girls in eastern India through participatory learning and action with women's groups facilitated by accredited social health activists: a before-and-after pilot study. BMC International Health and Human Rights , 20 (1) , Article 6. 10.1186/s12914-020-00224-0. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Almost one in three married Indian women have ever experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence from husbands in their lifetime. We aimed to investigate the preliminary effects of community mobilisation through participatory learning and action groups facilitated by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), coupled with access to counselling, to prevent violence against women and girls in Jharkhand, eastern India. METHODS: We piloted a cycle of 16 participatory learning and action meetings with women's groups facilitated by ASHAs in rural Jharkhand. Participants identified common forms of violence against women and girls, prioritised the ones they wanted to address, developed locally feasible strategies to address them, implemented the strategies, and evaluated the process. We also trained two counsellors and two ASHA supervisors to support survivors, and gave ASHAs information about legal, health, and police services. We did a before-and-after pilot study involving baseline and endline surveys with group members to estimate preliminary effects of these activities on the acceptability of violence, prevalence of past year emotional and physical violence, and help-seeking. RESULTS: ASHAs successfully conducted monthly participatory learning and action meetings with 39 women's groups in 22 villages of West Singhbhum district, Jharkhand, between June 2016 and September 2017. We interviewed 59% (679/1149) of women registered with groups at baseline, and 63% (861/1371) at endline. More women reported that violence was unacceptable in all seven scenarios presented to them at endline compared to baseline (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR]: 1.87, 95%: 1.39-2.52). Fewer women reported experiencing emotional violence from their husbands in the last 12 months (aOR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.43-0.71), and more sought help if it occurred (aOR: 2.19, 95% CI: 1.51-3.17). In addition, fewer women reported experiencing emotional or physical violence from family members other than their husbands in the last 12 months (aOR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.32-0.53, and aOR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.26-0.50, respectively). CONCLUSION: Combining participatory learning and action meetings facilitated by ASHAs with access to counselling was an acceptable strategy to address violence against women and girls in rural communities of Jharkhand. The approach warrants further implementation and evaluation as part of a comprehensive response to violence.

Type: Article
Title: Community mobilisation to prevent violence against women and girls in eastern India through participatory learning and action with women's groups facilitated by accredited social health activists: a before-and-after pilot study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12914-020-00224-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12914-020-00224-0
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 BioMed Central Ltd. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Community mobilisation, India, Indigenous communities, Participatory learning and action, Violence against women and girls
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094442
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